11 Nov 2017 21:00pm
WINDHOEK, 11 NOV (NAMPA) Namibia's Brave Warriors beat the Warriors of Zimbabwe by three goals to one in the Dr Hage Geingob Cup played at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday.
Playing in front of a capacity crowd of over 15 000 football fans which included Namibian President Hage Geingob, Namibia scored through two quick goals by Hendrik Somaeb in the 14th minute and Man of the Match Peter Shalulile in the 18th minute.
Zimbabwe replied through their Saudi Arabia-based marksman Tendai Ndoro from the penalty spot in the 32nd minute after Denzil Haoseb hacked down Marvelous Nakamba in the penalty area.
The two goals forced the visitors to make two quick defensive changes, which saw Peter Muduwa and Liberty Chakoroma sacrificed with less than 30 minutes of play in the first half.
The move, however, did not stop Namibia from adding a third goal when Somaeb slotted home from the penalty spot in the 42nd minute after Kudakwashe Mahachi had brought him down in the penalty area following a swift counter attack.
Namibia started off the match well, with hard running Shalulile exposing the rigid Zimbabwe defence which struggled to contain his pace.
He was ably supported by Somaeb, whose skill and power helped carve open the visitors defence on numerous occasions.
The halftime score was 3-1.
In the second half, both teams made a raft of changes, with the home side playing some entertaining attacking football while the visitors dominated possession without troubling Lloyd Kazapuas goal.
Substitute Absalom Iimbondi tested Zimbabwean goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda from a free kick, while Dynamo Fredericks shot over the crossbar with the goalkeeper to beat.
Brave Warriors Coach Ricardo Mannetti was happy with the teams performance, saying his charges played to their strength.
We set traps for them by bringing the ball into the middle and attacking their central defence. We defended well, especially with captain Ronald (Ketjijere) and Dynamo protecting our centre backs well, he said.
He added that the defensive work of the two made it difficult for the Zimbabweans to find their strikers.
Mannetti acknowledged that the Zimbabweans physical strength was a problem for his team, but they handled it well.
Stand-in Zimbabwe Coach Wilson Mutendeke congratulated Namibia on their win, saying nothing went well for his team.
We lost to a better side, they made it difficult for us to play and utilised all their chances. It is back to the drawing board, he concluded.
Namibia received medals and a floating trophy, while Zimbabwe also received medals and the losers plate for their efforts.
Namibia used the match to prepare for the 2018 African Nations Championship to be played in Morocco in January, while Zimbabwe is preparing for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The visitors brought in a strong squad, which included 10 international players, while Namibia called up only three of their overseas-based players.